It’s a fact that Android spyware is on the increase, like some annoying cancer that no amount of chemotherapy can do away with. The stats are pretty brutal at this point too. A security firm by the name of F-Secure reported that there was a 64% increase in malicious apps for Android in the second quarter of 2012. Not only is there an increase in the quantity of malware, the quality is getting more lethal too.
Apparently, the firm found 19 new Android malware families and about 21 new versions of already existing malware. If that isn’t enough to have you anxious about your own Android set, than its even more daunting to know that most of the malware infiltration happens as a result of mass exploitation. Hackers attempt to target large numbers of users simultaneously in order to extract information and then pass it on to shadow companies and ad agencies in the pursuit of making money.
The Problem and Avoidance Steps
So is there a way to actually stop this epidemic and rest easy despite being an Android user? Asides from the heaps of anti-spyware and anti-cell phone monitoring apps that one could avail, experts are pinpointing the problem elsewhere. It isn’t really due to the lack of anti-spyware technology to combat the threats or the inherent glitches in the Android OS.
According to an F-Secure advisor, if anything, it’s a ‘social engineering problem’. Android malware and spyware manage to get into users phones by disguising themselves as game apps and free wallpaper apps and such. More importantly, the apps get onto the Play store without proper review and users carelessly download the apps. To stop exactly this and ensure your privacy, here are some ways you can reduce spyware hitting your Android:
1. Don’t go App crazy. Every time you find something interesting on the market, you don’t have to necessarily up and get it. Just because it seems appealing does not mean it’s a genuine app. There are enough incidences happening around to tell us that if an app seems too good to be true, it more than probably is.
2. Check App Permissions. This feature is an added plus for all Android users. It would be advisable to check app permissions weekly in the very least to know what the installed apps on your phone are up to. Initially an app may be using only what is required and hence fool you into believing that it is a benign app. This is because disguised apps tap into phone information through discrete ways. Later if you notice a change and the same app begins accessing your WiFi or your contacts list, then be sure that something is awry.
3. Read Up on Reviews. There are bound to be reviews on whatever apps hit the market. You can’t have been the first one to come across it and users must have left some feedback. Check the internet for such feedback and try and gauge the worth from other user’s experiences. If there are a lot of complains indicating spyware functions such as slow loading, quick battery depletion, etc than you need to be weary of the app and stay away from it altogether.
Author bio: James Clark has been in the business of providing quality information on cell phone spy software for a while now. He’s an expert at all things spyware, but his main forte is iPhone spy software which has captured the interest of many.